Morikuni Shuzo are clearly a sake brewery that like to do things differently. In a world dominated largely by companies established hundreds of years ago and proudly narrating their rich histories on their websites, this small brewery (founded in 2005) has had to carve out its own quirks.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Hati Hati Junmai From Morikuni Sake Brewery Co. Ltd Review” →
Craft beer’s monumental shake-up of traditional food and drink combos has seen IPAs, pilsners and stouts appear on the menus of diners for which such a move would have been unthinkable just ten years ago. Where some form of wine was previously the only ‘recommended pairing’ for just about any dish in just about any restaurant, suddenly a good quality beer from the likes of Cloudwater, Verdant or The Kernel is just as acceptable, and arguably more accessible and affordable for many.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Sui Sui Sui Junmai Ginjo By Morikuni Sake Brewery Co. Ltd Review” →
I’m generally hesitant to recommend a sake based solely on the criteria of a drinker’s lack of experience with the category, and generally leery of any such recommendations, finding most “for first-timer” lists rather dubious at best. The reason is that, even if someone hasn’t had many previous opportunities to encounter sake, it doesn’t mean that they don’t bring a lot to the table. Everyone, whether they are conscious of it or not, comes packed with preferences based on all kinds of food and beverage experiences and influences. From my personal experience, there exists no single “starter sake” (or starter wine, beer, coffee, or any beverage, for that matter), but there does exist an entry point sake unique to each individual at any one point in time. The process of finding that is finding the joy, not just in sake, but across all kinds of food and beverage.
For this list, I’ve put together a few recommendations that I feel are not only reasonable starting points across the spectrum but are also sake that you’ll likely wind up continuing to come back to. Not just because they’re rather tasty, but because they have a lot of subtle character, as well; a lot of which will really become more apparent with time. You’ll get out of these sake as much as the time you’re willing to put into them, which is really true of any healthy relationship, no?
Continue reading “Guest Post: 4 Sake Recommendations From Nihonshu Expert Justin Potts” →
Whilst not quite as simple as pushing a fresh, floral and fruity junmai daigingo to the back of your cupboard and trying to forget it exists for the next five years, aged sake is indeed a real thing. Specially pre-aged nihonshu (known as koshu) makes up a tiny amount of total sake production and sales and as a result is hugely misunderstood, forgotten or ignored.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Hyakunen Mae Kimoto – Mansakuno Hana Junmai Koshu Review” →
Today, matcha green tea has grown its popularity and can be easily accessible to tea lovers through cafes, ice cream shops, and restaurants. Even fast-food chains have started offering matcha flavoured desserts.
The tea is considered a popular commodity for the youth and a sought-after alternative drink for health enthusiasts.It’s no secret that the tea powder has high concentrations of nutrients, antioxidants, and essential amino acids.
It has a vital antioxidant called EGCG or Epigallocatechin gallate and a crucial amino acid called L-Theanine, which is a stress-relieving flavonoid that contributes to the tea’s taste.While it’s common knowledge that matcha is of Asian origin, there are many exciting things about it that you might have never heard of.
Continue reading “Guest Post: 10 Interesting Historical Facts About Matcha” →
When it comes to premium sake, the Dassai brand created by the Asahi-Shuzo brewery remains a constant powerhouse. Their junmai daiginjo range has captivated drinkers across the globe and I’ll add myself to that list of evangelists. The Dassai 23, 45 and 39 rank among my favourite nihonshu and it’s intriguing to see the kind of innovations that the Asahi brewery continues to champion.
Jordan Smithcroft also enjoys Dassai sake and he’s written up a great review of the epic sparkling Dassai 45 junmai daiginjo nigori.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Dassai Sparkling 45 Junmai Daiginjo Nigori Review” →
Considering Asahi-Shuzo is the largest sake producer in Niigata prefecture the washi paper label of its Kubota Senjyu (1000 Long Lives) is a charmingly personal touch. And whilst online retailers seem caught between the technicalities of whether to best market as ginjo or tokubetsu (special) honjozo, the brewery’s own website is happy to promote the Kubota range for its‘subtle flavo[u]r’ and ‘mellow… and gentle taste.’
Continue reading “Guest Post: Kubota Senjyu (1000 Long Lives) Ginjo By Asahi-Shuzo” →
That this isn’t even Dassai 45’s first review in Yamato Magazine is testament to its popularity in the world of English-speaking sake enthusiasts. Asahi-Shuzo’s flagship junmai daiginjo is probably largely behind the brewery’s decision (and ability) to open a new premises in New York. That it is amongst the most recognisable and celebrated sakes in the West is undeniable. Continue reading “Guest Post: Dassai 45 Junmai Dai Ginjo by Asahi-Shuzo Co. Ltd Review” →
The International Wine Challenge (IWC) judges can’t get enough of Takedo Shuzo’s Katafune range sakes, which scooped top awards in the 2013 and 2015 competitions. According to its website the brewery, located in the western port city of Niigata, was established in 1866 and is currently proudly managed by the ninth and tenth generation of its founder Seizaemon Takeda.
I chilled a bottle of Katafune Junmai and decided to forego the label recommendation (‘an excellent drink with dinner’), interested instead in how the sake carried itself.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Katafune (Lagoon Boat) Junmai by Takeda Shuzo Co. Review” →
Despite accounting for a large majority of all sake consumed within Japan, futsushu remains the least desirable classification in the West. For most sake is an unusual and somewhat luxurious product, consumed on special occasions. Sampling premium styles with bold, distinctive flavours makes the experience worthwhile and memorable. Futsushu’s reputation as simple ‘table sake’ doesn’t play well to this. For those who do wish to give futsushu a go, Yucho Brewery’s Choya is by far the obvious choice, being inexpensive and readily available.
Continue reading “Guest Post: Tensai Touji no Nyukonshu (Brewer’s Perfection) by Watanabe Sake Brewery Co., Ltd (Hourai) Review” →